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Old 08-13-2011, 05:36 AM   #1
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My wife and I are considering a new Airstream. We had camped extensivley in years past, we are both early 60's but gave it up for kids sports etc. As we also gave up dogs during that period. We got a 2 1/2 year old mixed breed from a shelter and found out she was leash aggressvie. No other aggression. We have spent 2 and a half years working with her and she is coming around, but still shows aggression or fear when encountering another dog on a leash.

After reading the various posts on this forum we have pretty much decided this morning that an Airstream and camping will not work as the campgrounds seem, by the posts, to me more restrictive to dogs of any kind but particularly dogs with any issues.

We always have her under control, she does not bark, but we would want to leave her to go biking and kayaking etc.

Suggestions? I know it is our decision, but those of you who have done extensive camping might tell us we are right or we are over worrying, which we tend to do.

Thank you

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Old 08-13-2011, 07:19 AM   #2
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Greetings paiceman!

Before giving up on the idea of camping, why not try renting a motorhome for a week? This would give you a chance to see if your dog may find RVing as enjoyable as you do. I have not had to worry too much about my dogs as the largest was 7 pounds . . . and as with all of my Chihuahuas she was 7 pounds of mostly bark. It may be the areas where I travel, but I rarely see that many dogs in the park . . . it is unusual for me to run into more than one or possibly two other RVers out walking their dogs when I have mine out on their leashes. The exception to that generalization is when I am at a WBCCI function as it seems like most of my neighbors have dogs . . . of course, that is natural, as at many such events dog owners have their own parking area.

Good luck with your investigation!


Kevin D. Allen
WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:55 AM   #3
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Restrictive? Maybe in your part of the country. All will require you to have your dog on a leash although some have fenced dog yards where you can take them off. Our most recent adoption took about two years to get comfortable on leash and she still doesn't like to be close to other dogs. We just move out of the way. We have two standard poodles and they stay in the coach without fussing.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:21 AM   #4
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We do not have pets however we have camped in a number of National parks in the east and dogs were never a problems. Yes they did bark on occasion but on the most part all were well behaved. I have never been woken in the middle of the night by a dog barking but have been by people partying.

You might visit a park an ask those who own pets what they do when the go hiking etc. Anyway I would not give up camping because of a pet.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:35 AM   #5
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We camp in a Bambi with two Labs and one is a runner with bouts of separation anxiety! They both are surprisingly good and we've never had a problem. I'd say give it a try before you give up.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:57 AM   #6
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Cats Sleeping With Dogs; a Question of Biblical Proportions

Quoted from my post of 08-30-2006 on the thread:
Help for Traveling With Cats and Dogs and Kids
On the Pet Forum

Generalization #1
Most dogs love to travel, most cats prefer to stay home.

Generalization #2
If you leave cats at home with enough food and water for a week and a big litter box, when you return, the cats will be happy and healthy with a little food and water left over, and all cat poo in the litter box.

Generalization #3
If you leave dogs at home with enough food and water for a week, they will try to eat all the food on the first day, spill all the water, get diarrhea, and go nuts. When you come home the dogs will be emacciated, dehydrated, in a room full of dog poo and torn up dog beds.

Generalization #4
Make arrangements to leave the cats at home.

Generalization #5
Take the dogs but make rules and assign responsibilities for their care and supervision. Stop every couple hours. Make the dogs stay in the tow vehicle at each stop until on leash. Pick up after them. They ride with humans, never in the trailer. Take a crate for each dog.

We agonized over this question 10 years and four dogs ago. A friendly Airstreamer gave us some great advice, and we can't imagine life on the road without dogs. Cats stay home.

P.S. Update of 08-13-11. Dogs provide enough companship to make their care worth it. We hike, bike, and raft. It just takes some planning. We did ignore all the aforementioned advice and took two dogs and two cats AIrstreaming once. Big mistake. I took one cat Airstreaming once. Won't try that again.
Ken L
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:16 AM   #7
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Hello Paiceman,
I understand your angst over traveling with your dog. We have 3-65 lb pit mix females. We have also camped with 2-90 lb shepherds with our 3 pits all in our 1964 22' Safari. We love our animals and have taken them all over the country. Everywere we go the dogs are the biggest atraction and the Airstream makes our camp the place to hang. We have found most places are becoming more accommodating to dogs and there owners. Because more and more people are traveling with there wubbies. There will be times you will have to leave them unattended, just like at home. This should not be a problem if you have considered the temp, food and water. Once in Death Valley (January) The camp host said they would keep an eye/ear on the trailer/dogs while we went to Beatty, NV. for supplies. Sometimes there are kennels at the place you are going, like Hearst Castle, Grand Canyon South Rim, etc.
I would not give up travel or my canine friends. Get an Airstream, travel and enjoy your dog.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:35 AM   #8
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Don't let the leash aggression deter you. My rescue, Samm, is leash aggressive and the only thing I can do is manage it. If I'm sitting in my camp and people with a dog approach, I simply warn them that one of my Labs is leash aggressive. Most experienced dog owners are familiar with the issue and they simply carry on, or keep a good distance between us and them if they stop to chat. Samm will typically settle down after a few moments and gets used to the idea of another dog being nearby. The same for when we're out walking - a simple warning to the oncoming dog people. If I feel it is necessary, I will simply alter my course to give the oncoming dog a wide berth. Leash aggression is a bit of a pain sometimes, but perfectly manageable. Despite training, I can't seem to rid Samm of his anxiety, so now I just live with it and we manage. As I said, most experienced dog owners are familiar with leash aggression and are usually more than happy to give you the space you need as long as you warn them as they approach. Be cheerful/easy going about it so that the warning doesn't intimidate less experienced owners.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:44 AM   #9
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There are always two ways to look at things. One of the reasons we got our Airstream was so we could include our dogs when we go away for the weekend or on vacation. We travel in a 20-foot Safari with a Standard Poodle and a Havanese and it is wonderful. Yesterday we golfed all afternoon and the dogs stayed at a great dog "spa" that we found where they got baths and played with other dogs. Mostly we take them with us when we go on adventures. It seems that about 2/3 of the other campers have dogs, too.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:50 PM   #10
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We take our Weim with us all the time. We have stayed at two WBCCI campgrounds both of which allow dogs, and I know the one in Limestone does as well. One member there has 12 Dachshunds.

There are times when we need to leave Minna in the trailer. We either kennel her if it will be several hours, or just let her roam the trailer. We make sure the air or heat is on as appropriate, and leave the radio on for her as well.

To date, we haven't had any problems, nor do we anticipate any in the future. We also have not been turned away from any park we have tried to camp at. The only one frequented by Airstreamers that doesn't allow dogs that I know of is Land Yacht Harbor in FL.
Craig and Carol
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:58 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the tips and advice, still considering, but actually leaning away from camping. Not just because of our dog. We have visited a number of campgrounds and found them to be crowded, people close together, etc. Just not sure any longer if this is what we are looking for. As I mentioned previoulsy we have camped in the past, last time about 18 years ago but when we did it was vacation only and two weeks at a time, then loved it. But we were much younger then as well. We have left her at a kennel she loves, but notice each time we come home from (hotel) vacation she is different, not better or worse just different. Just not sure, considering a boat and just stay home instead of camping. Did order a truck yesterday that could tow a 30' or a boat so that part is not set in stone.

After 43 years of marriage and with numerous financial mistakes we just don't want to make another one that we would look back on and regret

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Old 08-14-2011, 08:27 AM   #12

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Thumbs up Pooch camp'n...

Don't give up camping with your dog.

There are many ways to enjoy the experience...

We started out this way years ago and don't regret a thing.

Different pooch, different AS... but still at it 25yrs later...
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AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:06 AM   #13
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We've always had shelter/rescue dogs and the 2 we have now are no exception. Both do have seperation anxiety issues and one doesn't like to travel...but they would prefer to be with us at all times.

Generally speaking we take the dogs everywhere with us and rarely leave them alone.

The best thing that we've found is to get them tired from several long walks (over a mile each) and then they are happy to sleep most of the rest of the day. You could always get a crate and get the dog(s) acclimated to it prior to a trip. That way at least they -- and the trailer -- would stay safe.

Also, we usually time our trips for during the week and avoid holidays. In addition, we generally do most of our travel in the off-season and that results in less crowding et al.

Only restrictions we've run into with regard to dogs are places that do not want specific breeds that they consider to be aggressive.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:36 AM   #14
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I agree with the others, don't give up. I would put a sign advising visitors not to approach due to your dogs anxieties. Most dog owners will understand and respect your wishes. We have 3 medium-large size dogs (a Lab, Husky, and Pyreneese Lab mix. All are friendly, but suffer "dumb attacks" at times, especially the Pyreneese Lab. On a recent trip, friends next to us had 'warned' people approaching our trailer that our Pyreneese Lab was 'aggressive' and they stayed clear of our trailer. By the way, Chief (the Pyreneese Lab) is probably our most aggressive dog, unless you consider being "drooled on" a health hazard. Our Husky, who looks like a wolf, will howl and sing, and our Lab will just meander up to people.

With regards to crowded campgrounds, yes some are smaller or more compact than others. If you look and ask around, you will find those parks that are gems. Try to go during off peak times as well.

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